709-903.5 Endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person commits the offense of endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree if, having care or custody of a minor, the person:

(a) Intentionally or knowingly allows another person to inflict serious or substantial bodily injury on the minor; or

(b) Intentionally or knowingly causes or permits the minor to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the minor's body any controlled substance listed in sections 329-14, 329-16, 329-18, and 329-20 that has not been prescribed by a physician for the minor, except as permitted under section 329-122.

(2) It shall be a defense to prosecution under sections 709-903.5(1) and 709-904(1) if, at the time the person allowed another to inflict serious or substantial bodily injury on a minor, the person reasonably believed the person would incur serious or substantial bodily injury in acting to prevent the infliction of serious or substantial bodily injury on the minor.

(3) Endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree is a class C felony. [L 1986, c 314, 70; am L 2006, c 249, 1; am L 2008, c 81, 1]

 

Revision Note

 

In subsection (2), "709-904(1)" substituted for "709-704(1)".

 

COMMENTARY ON 709-903.5

 

Act 314, Session Laws 1986, provided that a person is criminally liable for intentionally or knowingly allowing another person to inflict serious or substantial bodily harm on a minor. Persons charged with this offense may defend on the ground that they reasonably believed they would incur serious or substantial bodily injury by acting to prevent the harm to the minor. Conference Committee Report No. 51-86.

Act 249, Session Laws 2006, expanded the crime of endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree to include causing or permitting a minor to ingest methamphetamine. Conference Committee Report No. 84-06.

Act 81, Session Laws 2008, amended subsection (1) to include in the offense causing or permitting a minor to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the minor's body, any controlled substance listed in schedules I through IV not prescribed by a physician, excluding the medical use of marijuana. The legislature found that the Act would provide greater protection for the health and safety of the children of Hawaii, and was necessary because of the high risk of injury caused by the ingestion of schedule I, II, III, and IV controlled substances. Conference Committee Report No. 55-08, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 3415.

 

 

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